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Is there a way to generate a barcode in FrameMaker 15?

Explorer ,
Jul 29, 2019

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Hello,

I need to insert in the boilerplate page a barcode for the user guide.

I see there's an option to insert QR codes, but don't see any for barcodes.

How is this done?

All advice greatly welcome!

Donna

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Is there a way to generate a barcode in FrameMaker 15?

Explorer ,
Jul 29, 2019

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Hello,

I need to insert in the boilerplate page a barcode for the user guide.

I see there's an option to insert QR codes, but don't see any for barcodes.

How is this done?

All advice greatly welcome!

Donna

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767

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Jul 29, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2019

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I suspect you'd have to generate the bar code and save an image of it to be used in FM.

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Jul 29, 2019 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2019

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Donna,

   There are free barcode fonts. See, for example, https://www.barcodefaq.com/.

     --Lynne

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Jul 29, 2019 1
Enthusiast ,
Jul 29, 2019

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I have done this with ExtendScript. In general the process is as follows:

  1. Find out which barcode format you need to use.
  2. Obtain a barcode font that is compatible with the required barcode format, there are many different encodings, so this is an important step.
  3. Create a paragraph format that uses the barcode font at the required size. Large enough so that it can be scanned easily.
  4. Use ExtendScript to create a script that generates the required Start symbol, check digit and end symbols for the value that you need to encode. This is the difficult part as you have to map all characters in the font to the required value and it's not always an obvious mapping.
  5. Update the document with the encoded barcode.
  6. Test it using a barcode scanner. I use a mobile app on my phone for testing.

Some barcodes function in different ways depending on the start symbol's value.

Ian

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Jul 29, 2019 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2019

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I use qrstuff.com for free barcode generation, and for qr codes beyond what you can do with Fm

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Jul 29, 2019 0
Explorer ,
Jul 31, 2019

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Thank you all for your  helpful input.

I checked out Lynne's tip on barcode fonts and created a character tag that was based on a free barcode font, but as the resulting barcode looked different than what an online barcode generator issued, decided not to spend more time researching this and opted for Jeff's idea of importing a generated barcode as an image.

Was very pleased that FM 2015 supports SVG imports as the imported barcode file retains the vector sharpness.

This site provides SVG downloads: Free Barcode Generator - Create barcodes here for anybody who will refer to this post in the future.

Appreciate the quick responses and great ideas!

Donna

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Jul 31, 2019 0
Enthusiast ,
Jul 31, 2019

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Donna,

Just for information, the reason that you can't just format the barcode's value directly by applying the correct font is because of the special control characters that have to be generated to validate the encoding. That's the tricky part - step 4 in my previous response. 

Some may ask why go to the effort of generating the barcodes in FrameMaker. In some cases it's essential, the FrameMaker document could be generated from a database or directly from XML. In those cases the formatting has to be ready to use and a manual barcode graphic generation step would be very inefficient.

Ian

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Jul 31, 2019 1
udonna LATEST
Explorer ,
Jul 31, 2019

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That's very good to know Ian.

Many thanks!

Donna

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Jul 31, 2019 0